Preview: 2019-2020 Skis and Ski Gear Trends

At Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, we love sharing the latest ski gear trends with you. Each year, we scout out top-notch skis at the SIA OR + Snow Show in Denver. And then we put in gear testing time at the On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest at Copper Mountain Resort. No doubt, we love to get out on the slopes and experience ski gear trends in action. But it’s even better when we can share the best with you as rental and demo skis the following season.   

The Bear welcomes all to the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show at Denver’s Convention Center.

Industry-Wide Ski Gear Trends

The 2018-2019 Vail ski season will soon come to the end. We have a lot to celebrate, and we also have a lot to look forward to for next winter. Get excited about these ski gear trends that are shaping the ski industry and the future of Vail skiing:

NARROWER SKIS TRENDING: The days of super-fat skis continue to fade into the past while skis with a width of less than 100 millimeters underfoot will continue to trend into 2019-2020 season.  

Of this trend, VBSR co-owner Sacha Gros says, “As a whole, the industry is going narrower with skis. While fatties and wide skis were a trend, that doesn’t mean they were actually technically better. In order to get a wide ski on edge, you need to tip if further.”

GRAPHICS AND TOP SHEET TRENDS: Gone are the days of bold graphics and bright patterns. Monochromatic colors and pastel tones have taken center stage, so expect more basic colors and graphics upcoming.

TOP-SELLING SKIS REVEALED: According to The NPS Group Inc, these five skis were the top sellers in the 2017–18 season:

1) Blizzard Black Pearl 88

2) Nordica Enforcer 100

3) Nordica Enforcer 93

4) Salomon QST 99

5) Volkl Mantra M5

INDUSTRY GROWTH CONTINUES: Despite changing weather and climate patterns, the overall snowsports industry grew at a rate of 2 percent in the previous year, according to The NPS Group Inc.

Sacha walks the trade show floor to meet with ski & boot manufacturers.

Ski Testers Reveal Favorite 2019­–2020 Skis

We’re lucky at VBSR to have a passionate crew of skiers in the shop and on the slopes. The feedback we get from our ski testers helps us bring the best ski rental options to you each season. We’re not yet ready to reveal the full line of ski rentals we’ll have available for next season. But here are a few notables from our ski testers to give you an idea of what’s upcoming—and very exciting:

Each ski tester has a pre-determined list to test. Each chairlift ride includes taking notes on the last run’s results. Photo credit: Holly Mandarich


  • Favorites:  Head Kore 99 and Volkl Kenja 88.  
  • Favorites:  Nordica Enforcer 104 and Blizzard Rustler.


  • Favorite: Nordica Enforcer 104


  • Overall favorite: “The Volkl Mantra M5 was the best in class for the day. This ski does almost everything really well and is still somewhat forgiving. It’s simply an excellent all-mountain ski for the expert or the skilled, athletic, and advanced skier. “


  • Top picks: “The Volkl Secret 92, Nordica Santa Ana 88, and Head Kore 93 were all great skis and relatively easy to ski. The Head Kore was possibly my favorite of the day. Of these three, the Volkl Secret is a well-balanced, easy-turning ski that holds through every turn while the Nordica Santa Ana is the most tenacious-holding of the three, and the Head Kore is the quickest turning, making it very easy to do short radius turns.”


  • Take note: “With an added metal top sheet, expect increased stiffness from the Blizzard Bushwacker, a ski that remains fun and poppy. And the Kastle MX99 Carbon? Ridiculous! If you want to go fast on super steep terrain, then this is the ski. It has two sheets of metal on top and carbon through an already stiff core.”


  • From breezy to 5-star: “In the beginner-intermediate range, I found the Salomon Myriad to be easy breezy. The Head Kore is a standout favorite that I’d give a 5-star rating, and the K2 Anthem 85 proved to be a fun surprise.”

Explore More with VBSR

Explore the adventure of ski testing with us! Get the video overview of our demo day at Copper Mountain, and hear more about Matt and Clare’s top picks. Want more intel? Stop by VBSR for more insider tips on ski gear trends.

Video Credit: Holly Mandarich.

We hope this overview of the latest ski gear trends gets you excited about skiing next winter at Vail. In the meantime, we’ll see you for the remainder of this season for ski rentals and demo ski rentals. Plus, don’t forget we’ve got ski storage just steps away from Vail’s Gondola One and a full-service repair and tune shop to help keep your skis in top shape.